Music at Northbourne Park

Music plays an important part in our life here at Northbourne. We try to instil a love of music in all children through music lessons, instrument tuition, concerts and musical productions.

Most children learn an instrument and it is quite common for certain children to reach Grade 7 in at least one instrument before they leave us. For the past 2 years our pupils have won 3 music scholarships each year to leading independent schools in Kent.

Each term we have informal concerts where children and adults can perform, no matter what their level.

All children enjoy class music lessons, and we have a large visiting team of instrumental staff who teach all orchestral instruments as well as piano.

Our choir works to a very high standard and regularly performs at community events.

Children play a range of music from classical to modern and jazz. Our school band is made up of students, parents and friends and the concerts are very popular.

THE CHOIR

The auditioned choir rehearse daily and perform to a very high standard.

Robed in cassocks and surplices they take a great lead in fortnightly church services, singing a huge variety of mass settings and anthems.

At Christmas time the children get a great sense of what life is like as a traditional chorister with a very busy schedule and a wonderful chance to sing a range of carols in a four part choir. It is not unusual for the children to sing carols in other languages including Polish, Czech, German or French amongst others

The children have a great sense of pride in being selected for the choir and it can be a life changing experience for many: helping them develop better organisational skills, giving them greater confidence and enabling them to listen well and become good team players.

They enjoy performing out in the community, whether it be visiting the elderly, supporting carol singing at a local private nursery, performing secular works at local concert venues, leading a traditional advent carol service or taking part in evensong at the Cathedral.

SCHOOL BAND

The school band is a very active force within the school. Led by David White, our hugely experienced percussion teacher ( ex-marine and musical director of the railway swing band), the group rehearse 3 times a fortnight and welcome members from the community: former parents, staff members, past pupils and children from other schools. Most musicians join the band once they have achieved grade 2 on their instruments. They play a large repertoire- from Happy to Putting on the Ritz.

The band is regularly invited to perform with other groups in the community as well as supporting many functions at school.

JAZZ GROUP

The jazz group was set up 6 years a go to challenge the most able players at the school. Offering pupils the chance to explore an alternative style of music, not necessarily covered in their individual exam repertoire, the music challenges rhythmic reading as well as bringing on sight reading and exploring improvisation.

BRASS GROUP

A well established brass group rehearses fortnightly. This group is mainly built from our  ‘home grown’ brass players but external members are always welcome and we are often joined by adult players and pupils from other schools wanting to extend their experience of music making.

STRINGS GROUP

String players meet fortnightly to rehearse a wide repertoire, and our numbers of violin players and cellists continue to grow.  The string group is a wonderful place for the pupils to listen carefully to each other, to learn new notes and to play together as a group.

The music is specifically written to challenge their standard of playing and build their confidence.

The string group recently participated in a 'prep school strings day' and we actively promote and encourage our pupils to join in with local workshops and performance based activities to extend their experience of music making.

CONCERTS

Northbourne Park has a whole school approach to music making and every child performs in both our Christmas and Summer concerts.  In their time at the school the children are challenged with performing as a 'whole class band' as well as putting on percussion-based whole class performances and singing in many parts and a variety of styles. 

The concerts are a wonderful opportunity for the children to showcase topics they have been learning about in the class room and are a real celebration of the children's achievements.

INFORMAL CONCERTS

Every term the children put on an 'informal concert' for their parents and friends. The concerts are incredibly popular and it is not unusual for some 40 children to sign up to perform. These concerts are a highlight in our calendar and it is always a real pleasure to watch the children progress from term to term and year to year.

PERIPATETIC STAFF

Northbourne Park has a wonderful team of 11 dedicated and experienced peripatetic staff who visit the school on a weekly basis and teach our children in purpose built and well equipped music suite.

Meet the staff:

Mrs Catherine Smith - woodwind teacher

Miss Amanda Gregory - recorder and theory teacher

Mr Keith Davies- brass teacher

Mr David white - percussion teacher

Miss Sophie Williamson- pre- prep drum teacher

Mrs Amanda Wyatt - violin teacher

Mr John Cullis - cello teacher

Lord Gawain Douglas - singing teacher

Mr Christopher Berriman - piano and organ teacher

Mrs Nicky Pound- piano teacher